I read someplace that women of confidence smile and women of arrogance smirk. How true is this statement? And more importantly what do you do?
The steam from my coffee was making it’s way out of the tiny hole on the white crisp lid resembling a steam train. I had a babysitter for three hours and I was going to use my time wisely. Walking downtown Naperville with no agenda I landed upon a cute boutique. The store was laid out with curiosity. Racks of creams, whites and flows seemed to be placed meticulously thoughout the store. You could barely get through one rack without being caught by another. Intriguing, to say the least. Not really sure how all the garments fit together I left the store but certain to come back and figure it out. This boutique left me with a puzzled face and the desire to understand.
Fast forward a couple of days. Girls at home singing and twirling, entertaining my saint of a sitter. Walking in again with some quiet confidence ready to digest more of what this boutique was serving. I was approached by three well dressed, confident girls. These girls were different than other “sales” girls that I have encountered. What was it though that made them different? There was not a smirk to be found. Refreshing. Some times a smirk has nothing to do with a mouth. I decided to try on a piece of clothing and to my surprise I liked it. The garment was nothing short of a piece of mysterious cloth. A garment that could easily be passed by, had one not been open for change. The “smirkless” were encouraging and offering advice with no motive other than to teach a different way to style. It was evident that this boutique was different. Their clothing, their attitudes towards clothing and of course their lack of heir was surely NOT suffocating. I left with three beautiful garments encouraged and excited to be a better version of myself. On departure I was told that I could bring in problem pieces of clothing and they would help style them. I took the information like you put away for a rainy day.
Wonderfully this week I had another 3 hours to enjoy. Bought a book, and slowly made my way through some of downtown Naperville’s other boutiques. I have to say regrettably, at most these shop’s were soulless. Beautiful clothing, but something was missing. What was it? I was missing the Beam. The beam of excitement in not just selling a piece but creating a look that contours to a personality. I headed into the Boutique with the large bright letters OOTRA. Understanding the space better and feeling well. I had decided to bring in a couple of dresses to have styled. Rainy day cashed in. The owner skipped out in spirit and walked out with class. You might not have understood her attire but you were ready to confidently be taught. Her polka dot short dress, short jacket, crimson scarf and brown boots that had been “lived” in. Her smile was contagious. Her excitement for life poured through in her speech and demeanor. The way her knees would bow when she was speaking about something exciting was endearing. It was Confidence. It’s beautiful isn’t it? On a side note why do so many of us lack this pleasant confidence? Why do we feel the need to judge one another? Is it upbringing? Environment? or more? Raising two girls I am even more conscience of this debilitating character trait. Back to the Owner, did I say that she exuded confidence? Well, if you missed it, she was the type of person you only wished was a thumb up on your hand of “close” friends. She was throwing garments at me like you would think Picasso would throw paint. It was so incredibly enlightening. It was an experience all to difficult to describe. I was the piece she was working on. After having two children I have forgotten that feeling of being front and center. I have forgotten that I was once important too. It was not always about filling the daily list of unending need’s only to do it all again the next day. I had a life once that mainly served me. It seems a lifetime ago. I am not interested in going going back to the life of me, but maybe reminiscing more and embracing parts of it.
The #OOTRAGirl was inspirational. She had a lot to say about a lot of things, and yet I did not grow tired of listening. She brought up things that were more than just “sales”. I suppose in a way it was all about sales, but I tell you honestly, it never seemed like it. At one point I was told “let’s go for a walk” . I was fully decked in OOTRA gear and my reflection that greeted me from one of the store fronts was nothing less than empowering. The silhouette of a girl that I never thought could be staring back at me. I was sold. I am still sold. This women and her team have a gift. The ability to make someone feel incredible inside and out. Truly a gift.
So I suppose I’ll stop where I started. Smile or Smirk? I am Smiling. If you haven not visited this Boutique, I strongly urge you too. Get a coffee and go alone. Be open minded and listen. It is an experience that is worth it. http://www.ootra.com/